Joey Carbery comes in at outhalf for the Champions Cup visit of Castres

Johnny Sexton ruled out through injury, as Sean O’Brien makes return for Leinster ‘A’

Joey Carbery will start in the number 10 jersey for Leinster this weekend. Photograph: Inpho

Joey Carbery will start in the number 10 jersey for Leinster this weekend. Photograph: Inpho

 

Joey Carbery will start Leinster’s European Champions Cup opener against Castres on Saturday at the RDS, with Johnny Sexton ruled out through injury.

Head coach Leo Cullen has made four changes in total from the team that accounted for Munster in the Pro12 last weekend - two in the backs and two in the forwards.

Sexton misses out as he has been “feeling a tightness in his hamstring at training during the week”. Therefore Carbery gets the nod at outhalf.

Rob Kearney continues at full back as he wins his 180th cap with Zane Kirchner coming in on the right wing and Isa Nacewa again selected on the left wing and as captain.

Nacewa went over 500 points for Leinster last weekend with his two tries and late conversion. Having now scored 511 points, including 36 tries, he is fifth on the all time Leinster point scorer table.

Having made his debut last weekend in the Aviva Stadium, Robbie Henshaw will make his first start in the RDS Arena tomorrow with Garry Ringrose outside him at 13.

In the pack Jack McGrath comes into the front row alongside Sean Cronin and Tadhg Furlong. Cian Healy drops to the bench.

McGrath will win his 100th cap for Leinster against Castres having made his debut in April 2010 against the Glasgow Warriors. As well as 99 Leinster caps, the 27 year old St Mary’s club man has won 33 Ireland caps since his debut against Samoa in 2013.

It’s as you were in the second row with Devin Toner and Ian Nagle again lining out but it will be Nagle’s European debut.

In the back row there is one final change with Josh van der Flier coming in at open side. Rhys Ruddock continues at blind side with Jamie Heaslip again at number eight.

Heaslip will become the second most capped player in Leinster history when he lines out for his 222nd game and in doing so will become the most capped forward in Leinster history. Gordon D’Arcy on 261 is the player with the most Leinster appearances.

Meanwhile Sean O’Brian and Jack Conan have both been named in the Leinster ‘A’ XV that kick-off their British and Irish Cup campaign away to Richmond on Saturday.

O’Brien picked up an injury playing for Ireland against France in the Six Nations and hasn’t featured for Leinster since the win over Bath in the Champions Cup back in January of this year.

LEINSTER: Rob Kearney; Zane Kirchner, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Isa Nacewa (captain); Joey Carbery, Luke McGrath; Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong; Devin Toner, Ian Nagle; Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: James Tracy, Cian Healy, Mike Ross, Ross Molony, Dan Leavy, Jamison Gibson-Park, Cathal Marsh, Noel Reid.

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